• Decide if going home is best for you. This is often not a thought for us, but it can be our most needed one. Do you have friends or family of choice you can stay with instead? If going home is not best for your wellness needs, think of alternatives for the holiday. If you feel a sense of obligation to be home for the holidays, think about how you can limit the number of days in that environment.
• If going home, consider ways to diffuse conversations. Discuss with others what you are or are not willing to talk about and then follow up on it. Think about using phrases like “ouch” to name when something being said may be hurtful to you or someone you love. It’s a quick way to make a point without having to enter long-form conversation.
• Have a network of care. I often text some of my best friends when I am “home” to commiserate and remove myself mentally from the space where I am at. I also make plans to be with friends I don’t get to see often but who I know support me. It doesn’t matter if they are in my hometown or if we’re linking up over Skype/Zoom.
During this time of year, we are often expected to share spaces with family, but remember that you have options. Consider what will be best for you and your needs when you are making your decisions. Self-care is always a priority, and the holiday season should be no exception.